Skip to main content

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune chronic condition that causes cells to develop rapidly on the skin. Typically, new skin cells grow monthly, but with psoriasis, new cells grow every 2 to 4 days. This overgrowth can lead to thick scaly plaques that may itch and cause discomfort. Environmental triggers can also cause the emergence of symptoms. 

There are different forms of psoriasis which include: 

– Plaque psoriasis
– Inverse Psoriasis
– Erythrodermic psoriasis
– Guttate psoriasis
– Pustular psoriasis
– Psoriasis arthritis 

Symptoms:

– Itchy, raised patches of skins
– Loose, flaky scales on top of the dry patches
– Skin pain
– Edema
– Inflammation
– Joint pain
– Fluid retention
– Pneumonia

Flare’s Trigger:

– Stress and anxiety
– Skin injuries
– Infection
– Hormonal changes
– Certain medications (Lithium, Antimalarials, Quinidine and Indomethacin)

What are the traditional treatments for Psoriasis?

Treating psoriasis will vary depending on the type and severity of the conditions. The main options include medications, phototherapy, diet, exercise and emollients to keep the skin moisturized to help reduce the itching and irritation of plaques. 

Medication:

– Coal tar
– Hydrocortisone cream
– Salicylic acid

Topical therapies:

– Corticosteroids
– Synthetic Vitamin D
– Retinoids
– Pimecrolimus cream
– Tacrolimus ointment

How medical cannabis can help with Psoriasis?

Through both research and anecdotal results from patients, medical cannabis has shown to be an effective treatment option for many, both as a primary and secondary option. Recent research has shown that CBD and other cannabinoids applied topically may improve the symptoms of psoriasis. Oral and ingestible treatment options such as oils and softgels can help for a longer period of time, managing some of the triggers of psoriasis.

Reducing Inflammation

A symptom of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. An early 2009 study found that some cannabinoids in the cannabis plant can help regulate the immune system and reduce on-site inflammation. Another research study from 2016 suggested that some cannabinoids might benefit people with psoriasis by affecting the interaction between the immune and nervous systems. The use of medical cannabis to regulate inflammation has become more common as ongoing research studies utilize CBD as an effective anti-inflammatory. 

Slowing cell growth

For those with psoriasis, the skin cells reproduce too quickly. In 2017, a study found that cannabinoids may slow the growth of skin cells and reduce their accumulation on the skin’s surface. While much more research needs to be done on the topic, cannabis has shown in preliminary studies to be effective at slowing the growth of tumours whose cells replicate rapidly.

Controlling pain

Cannabis, especially THC, can help reduce pain signalling and provide pain relief in some patients. A 2015 article in JAMA noted there is significant scientific evidence to indicate cannabinoids can help with pain. Apollo’s own published research study of over 700 chronic pain patients found both a large reduction in perceived pain and a reduction in the need for opioid use to manage said pain. For psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients, cannabis may help them manage their pain and discomfort.

Reducing itching

A 2017 review noted that cream containing palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), which has an incidence on cannabinoid type-1 receptors, appeared to reduce itching. More research is needed here, but positive results may be tied to the reduction in inflammation and cell growth.

Improving mental health

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic conditions that for now, have no known cure. With that said, it can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. As we know, stress can be a trigger for psoriasis flare-ups as well as depression and inflammation. Medical cannabis has been shown to assist with anxiety, stress, and sleep issues in patients, and provides a great alternative to pharmaceutical options that are often more harmful to the body and include more unwanted side effects.

Apollo Clinics Can Help

Apollo Cannabis Clinic is an evidence-based clinic that has been conducting observational research on medical cannabis and conditions since 2014.

We offer free appointments to all Canadians, 7 days a week. Our healthcare professionals and patient educators are here to support you along your journey, from booking your first appointment to setting you up with a dosing schedule and helping select your products (medication).

To book your free appointment, you can fill out a form here, or give us a call at 1-877-560-9195. If you have any questions, you can email us at Booking@apolloresearch.ca.

How can medical cannabis help with Psoriasis?

Medical cannabis has been found to provide symptom relief for Psoriasis including reducing itchiness, reducing inflammation, and improving mental health. Some individuals state they have been able to reduce their use of pharmaceutical medications prescribed for Psoriasis.

What forms of cannabis are available and most commonly used for patients with Psoriasis?

Ingestible options (Oil and/or gelcaps) are often recommended. This is because their effects can take effect in your body for up to 8 to 12 hours and provide patients with extended relief throughout the day or night. There are also other options available that include topicals that can help manage the itching and pain topically. You can work with your Apollo healthcare practitioner to find and decide what is going to work best for you and your personal preferences.

Can I take medical cannabis alongside my other medications?

Individuals looking to use medical cannabis as a treatment option for Psoriasis may use it either alongside other medications such as pharmaceuticals or as their primary medication. It is usually recommended to be taken consistently to be effective, but there is generally no immediate harm if doses are missed. Please always consult with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any medication.

How do I dose medical cannabis for Psoriasis?

Our physicians and patient care specialists work 1-on-1 with you to find your optimal dose. As every person’s body is different, we start slow and create a personalized dosing schedule for you. If at any time you feel like you need to make adjustments, we are here to support you by phone and email 7 days a week.

Find out if medical cannabis is right for you.

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT

Bodystream has merged into Apollo as of May 1, 2023, and here at Apollo we are looking forward to welcoming all new and existing Bodystream patients for free appointments with a medical cannabis healthcare practitioner.

Bodystream has merged into Apollo as of May 1, 2023, and here at Apollo we are looking forward to welcoming all new and existing Bodystream patients for free appointments with a medical cannabis healthcare practitioner.